The Bard's Delights

Date 2nd April 2021
Society The Florians Dramatic Society
Venue Online
Type of Production Play
Director Alan Holling and Maureen Pringle
Technical Director Geoff Burns

Report

Author: Douglas J Clark Regional Rep

The Bard’s Delights – An Evening With Shakespeare’s Women – was a collection of short extracts from seven of Shakespeare’s plays concentrating on the female characters. The introduction to the event was the appropriate “All The World’s A Stage” speech from “As You Like It” performed by five of the ladies of the company. The first extract was from “Romeo and Juliet” in which Juliet (a delightful Aimee Vincent) and her Nurse (Christine Fletcher) included the “What’s In A Name” speech. This was followed by Sasha Devine (Olivia), Alison Ozog (Viola) and Alasdair Davidson (Duke) in a piece from “Twelfth Night” which included the Duke’s speech “If You Speak of Love”. A Punk themed extract from “Taming of the Shrew” was then delivered by Fiona McDonald (Katherine), Aimee Vincent (Bianca), Matthias Kramer (Petruchio) and Graeme White (Baptista) with witty and fiery sparring between Kate and Petruchio. As a complete contrast we were then treated to a delightful rendition of the song “It was a Lover and his Lass” with vocals by Elise Hendry accompanied by Sam Talbot on guitar. Following on was the “Quality of Mercy” scene from “The Merchant of Venice” with a strong performance from Caroline Nicol as Portia supported by Trevor Nicol (Shylock), Graeme White (Bassanio), Matthias Kramer (Antonio) and Geoff Burns (Duke). The extract from “Cleopatra” was given a 1920’s setting with Aileen Hendry giving a powerful performance as the queen – complete with long cigarette holder- supported by Fiona Grant as her maid Charmian and Lisa Senior as the Messenger. In the extract from “Much Ado About Nothing” Sasha Devine as Beatrice gave an excellent emotional performance of the “If I Were a Man” speech supported by Alasdair Davidson’s Benedick. The evening was rounded off with several short scenes from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with strong performances from all the actors – Christine Fletcher (Titania), Alan Holling (Oberon), Fiona McDonald (Helena), Alison Ozog (Hermia), Trevor Nicol (Bottom) and Lisa Senior (Fairy). I particularly enjoyed the comic scene between Titania and the rubber-faced Bottom! Each extract had appropriate digital backdrops and modern day costuming. Shakespeare is one of the strong suits of this company having seen several of their versions of his plays performed by them. This was in no measure due to member John Claudius who was a great exponent of the Bard’s work and who sadly passed away at the end of 2020. The evening was dedicated to his memory and was a very fitting tribute.